Federal infrastructure investment projects - Fort Lennox National Historic Site
Parks Canada's mandate is to protect and present Canada's national historic sites, national parks, historic canals, national urban parks and national marine conservation areas. The portfolio of assets adminstered by Parks Canada plays an essential role in the visitor experience and also helps support essential operations such as transportation, water management, and services to residents and businesses, as well as being a source of shared pride for Canadians.
Fort Lennox National Historic Site will reopen to the public on June 17, 2023, after five years of closure following major infrastructure work and the refurbishment of some of its heritage buildings. These vital improvements will bring long-term benefits to the site, ensuring a safe, memorable, and high-quality experience for many years to come. This funding has been allocated to several major projects, with details laid out below.
Description of projects
Conservation of the soldiers' barracks
The barracks conservation project presented the unique challenge of restoring the structure with modern features, while respecting the heritage value of this emblematic building. Five major interventions took place:
- The barracks are built on clay soil, with the water table only three feet from the surface. Over time, these conditions caused the foundation stones to loosen, leading to sinking of the building's corners. The foundations were consolidated, and 15 cubic metres of stone were added to the base of the building to stop this phenomenon.
- Restoration of the masonry of the pediment, the grand staircase at the rear and the corners of the building. To preserve the integrity of the barracks, all of the stones were numbered, dismantled, restored and reinstalled in their original positions.
- On the outside walls, the grout between the stones was redone and 495 masonry stones were repaired. Other stones have been replaced by new ones cut from the same type of limestone as the originals.
- All the barracks' windows were repainted.
- Inside the building, work was carried out to replace displaced bricks and fill cracks.
Thematic exhibition, Passages, experiences of this island
The magnificent new thematic exhibition on the first floor, Passages, experiences of this island, has been developed. Displayed in a completely renewed space, the exhibition tells the story of the small Ile aux Noix. This exhibition highlights the human occupation of the island from 6000 years ago to this day. In addition to rich content filled with stories of all kind, the exhibition also showcases the rich archaeological collection of the site. The most beautiful artifacts are presented in an attractive and inventive way.
Additional infrastructure work
Other essential maintenance and restoration work on some of the adjoining infrastructure has been done on the site to ensure public safety, including:
- Redevelopment of service areas such as family areas and
inclusive washroom facilities;
- A new maintenance room for the historical objects collections;
- Redevelopment of the upstairs exhibition room (dormitory);
- Rehabilitation work on certain infrastructure around the fort to ensure public safety;
- Important work on the north gate – main gate of the fortification and its bridge;
- Upgrading of the docks on the river to make transportation on the island safer and easier for technical operations and for the general public's nautical transportation; and,
- Several improvements to service buildings such as the Visitor Centre.
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